The Compassionate Universe: The Power of the Individual to Heal the Environment
The Power of the Individual to Heal the Environment
A practical and inspiring approach to tackling our environmental crisis, from a master spiritual teacher. We can heal our earth by choosing a simpler, more fulfilling lifestyle, as trustees of a compassionate universe.Eknath Easwaran presents a penetrating analysis of the spiritual roots of our current predicament and offers a realistic and hopeful way forward. Each of us has a role to play in making wise choices, and each of us can genuinely make a difference. Drawing inspiration and insight from Mahatma Gandhi, Saint Francis, and his own experience of living in the East and the West, Easwaran shows the connections between individual thoughts and actions that move beyond consumerism to the unity of life. Mahatma Gandhi formulated a series of diagnoses of our seemingly perpetual state of crisis, which he called “the seven social sins”: knowledge without character, science without humanity, wealth without work, commerce without morality, politics without principles, pleasure without conscience, and worship without self-sacrifice. Easwaran explores each of these diagnoses in turn and presents an alternative hypothesis of who we are and how we fit into the universe. This is ecology as a great adventure, filled with the challenges and rewards of inner growth. Easwaran tells us that “once we open our eyes to cooperation, artistry, thrift, and compassion, we begin to see thousands of little things we can do to help restore the environment – and restore dignity and deeper fulfillment to our own lives.” Eknath Easwaran is renowned as a teacher of meditation and for his translations of the Indian scriptures. His writings express timeless spiritual insights and are illustrated by stories from East and West. His books reflect two cultures: India, where he grew up in a self-supporting agrarian village, and the United States, where he taught and lectured for over thirty years. His early experiences of living in harmony with nature, his firsthand acquaintance with Gandhi’s India, and his long familiarity with an American audience have resulted in this book: a deeply thoughtful examination of our present situation, and a blueprint for living as trustees of a compassionate universe, in a world that we would want our children and grandchildren to inherit.
Eknath Easwaran (1910â€“1999) is respected around the world as an authentic teacher of timeless wisdom. More than two million copies of his books are in print, including his best-selling translations of the Bhagavad Gita and the Upanishads. Easwaran grew up in Kerala, India. As a young man he visited Mahatma Gandhi in his ashram and was deeply influenced by the way that Gandhi brought spiritual values into daily life. He later became professor of English literature at a leading university, and was well known as a speaker and writer before coming to the United States in 1959 on the Fulbright exchange program. A gifted teacher, Easwaran gave talks on meditation and spiritual living for 40 years. In 1961 he founded the Blue Mountain Center of Meditation, a nonprofit organization that publishes his books, videos, and audio talks, and offers retreats and online programs. His meditation class at UC Berkeley in 1968 was the first accredited course on meditation at any major university. Easwaran lived what he taught, giving him lasting appeal as a spiritual teacher and author of deep insight and warmth.